Hockey: Bright start by England

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ENGLAND made a convincing start to their opening game in the Sultan Azlan Shah Five Nations Cup in Penang on Saturday, going on to win 2-1 against Malaysia, writes Bill Colwill.

England took the lead in the 16th minute when Nick Thompson scored at close range. Substitute Bob Crutchley increased the lead with a high dragged scoop at their third penalty corner.

England found it difficult to cope with the humidity in the second half, allowing Malaysia back into the game with Fadil Anuar catching Simon Hazlitt in possession on his own goal-line.

England today play Australia, who started their programme with a powerful 4-1 victory over South Africa, despite trailing at the interval. In the only game yesterday, Pakistan beat Malaysia 5-1.

MALAYSIA: M Nubli; C Davis; Zamzam Ali, M Jayamaran, L Hassan; B Siva, S Ramu, K Raj; N Zaini (capt), C Aziz, M Nawawi. Substitutes used: F Anuar and Mahinderjit Singh.

ENGLAND: S Mason (Firebrands); P McGuire (Teddington), J Halls (Old Loughtonians); J Potter ( Hounslow), Soma Singh (Southgate), S Hazlitt (Hounslow); D Williams (Havant), R Garcia (Polo Barcelona), J Shaw (Southgate), J Laslett (Teddington, capt), N Thompson (Old Loughtonians). Substitutes used: B Crutchley (Hounslow), C Mayer (Cannock) and S Nicklin (Teddington).

Umpires: Charanjit Singh (Pakistan), M Grime (SA).